Ceramics in the Community | Tina Folks

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE SEPTEMBER 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Tina Folks is a Patchogue-based fine artist who works in ceramics and public art projects. Inspired by primitive art, along with her fascination for rituals that honor the natural world, Folks’ art is an expression of spiritual growth and the interconnected energies between Mother Earth and her inhabitants. Folks’ artwork incorporates the ideas from various civilizations that emphasize the importance of personal growth, spiritual awakening, and community togetherness.

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Tina Folks, Reptilian Totems, 2012

Working in red clay, Folks sculpts pedestal-based Animal Totems and Kachina Dolls that are inspired by the sculptures of primal and indigenous cultures. Each sculpture is unique and has personal significance to the artist. In her totems, the Reptilian Totems, the crocodile represents the artist’s personal spiritual animal, which in many cultures signifies the primal energies of birth and initiation. Her Kachina Dolls are inspired by the kachina dolls of the Arizona-based, Native American Hopi tribe, which represent different spiritual entities that are believed to be present in all living being. Folks creates ceramic sculptures that fuse animal with man, which are then decorated with inventive color palettes and fabric textures of the artist’s own design. Her figures encourage the viewer to contemplate on the indigenous culture’s rich history as well as his or her own relationship with the natural world and those that occupy it.

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Tina Folks, Kachina Dolls, 2013

Due to working as a solitary artist in the confines of her studio, Folks felt the need to become involved in something that was larger than her. Since the turn of the century, she has been engaged in multiple community projects that promote pride as well as personal and communal growth within one’s environment. Some of her earliest community projects include the 2000 The Community Wall Mosaic completed in conjunction with the East End Arts Council in Riverhead and 2002 9-11 Memorial Mosaic held at the Westhampton Beach Middle School. Through the East End Arts’ JumpstART program, Folks initiated the WE ARE ALL CONNECTED experiential fire ceremony. The ceremony incorporated 4 ceramic totem sculptures that acted as ‘spirit keepers.’ Each sculpture was placed alongside a circle, like points on a compass, alongside a circle, of which the public were invited to occupy. The circle symbolized the infinite cycle of life and the artist highlighted the connection that one has with his or her own spirit as well as one another by having the public stand alongside its parameter. The multi-media event included a drum circle and fire ceremony where the public was invited to write down their betterments for themselves and the community onto a piece of paper that they could then throw into the fire. Folks later brought her WE ARE ALL CONNECTED fire ceremony to her hometown of Patchogue in the fall of 2014 during the village’s PAC MAC Festival.

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Tina Folks, WE ARE ALL CONNECTED – Riverhead, 2014

Currently, Folks is collaborating with Gallery North on their MAKE YOUR MARK community garden wall project. The initiative invites children, adults, families, and professional artists together to decorate their own 6-inch stoneware tiles that will be permanently installed on the grounds of Gallery North. The next MAKE YOUR MARK workshop with the artist will be held at the Community Art Center of Gallery North on September 10th and 11th from 10 – 5PM, as part of the organization’s annual Out Door Art Show. Tiles cost $100 to decorate and install on the garden wall or $50 to decorate and take home. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help expand the arts programming of Gallery North.

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Community tiles from MAKE YOUR MARK, 2016

Tina Folks is a fine artist who lives and works in Patchogue, NY. She received a BA from Marrymount College in Tarrytown, NY and a BFA from Parson School of Design in New York City. She is the Owner and Co-Founder of Fee-Fi-Faux, Inc., a decorative painting, handmade tile and wallpaper business, alongside her husband Bryan Gutman. She has served on the Board of Directors of East Ends Arts from 2010 – 2014 and was a mentor to the East End Arts’ JumpstART program in 2015. Currently, Folks is an active member of the Art League of Long Island and the Patchogue Arts Council.

Jay Schuck

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MAKE YOUR MARK Workshop with Tina Folks, 2016, photo credit: Miranda Gatewood Photography


Photo Credit
Photographs of MAKE YOUR MARK Workshop © Miranda Gatewood Photography
All images courtesy of the artist

Bryan Gutman | Mindscapes

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE AUGUST 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Bryan Gutman is a fine artist from Patchogue, NY. In this series of work, reviewed here, Gutman creates immersive, multi-planed paintings that seamlessly integrate diverse visual images that are overlapped on top of one another and rendered in highly glossed enamels in conjunction with traditional oil paints. Since the early 1990s, Gutman has developed a personal iconography; incorporating images grounded in reality and imagined imagery stemming from the subconscious mind. Inspired by newspaper photographs, neon signage, and elements of the urban landscape, the artist layers his imagery into a singular mindscape that blurs reality with the fictive, through imposing lines that travel throughout multiple layers of vibrant colors.

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Bryan Gutman, Chris’s Dream, 2008

Exemplary of Gutman’s style is Chris’s Dream, which blends together several different visual motifs into one composite scene. Encased in a border of repeating bands of blue, orange, and beige rectangles, the visual representation in the center of the composition appears to be that of a couple in the act of love making. The pair appears not grounded in reality, but is rather surrounded by a sea of green and pink polka dots and a multitude of pink-hued bands of white, arranged in a variety of forms that is resemble of neon signage. Within the yellow-orange silhouette of the female figure, one finds the contours of a seated man sitting amongst a rocky landscape with a shovel resting on his shoulder. This overlapping of the rural man within the silhouettes of the sensual couple offers a stunning juxtaposition between the communal and the intimate, the public and the private, of virtue and vice; the didactics of man. What is revealed upon close observation is often lost in the initial glimpse. Gutman’s mastery in fusing together his diverse subject matters through form and color allows him to hide details within his paintings, which are only revealed when one carefully digests each piece.

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Bryan Gutman, Highway Dreaming, 2014

Likewise, the painting Highway Dreaming utilizes imagery that, on first observation, may be lost on the viewer. What is immediately recognizable, however, is the nude female figure that is situated just above the center of the composition. The figure is rendered in a deep dark blue with her contours marked in neon-purple sign-like delineations. She inhabits a shape reminiscent of a rearview mirror and, paired with the title of the painting and its relatively bare surrounds, which consists of a gradual transition of yellow-green to red-orange, one can adopt the perspective of a man that is lost in thought while travelling down a barren desert highway. Gutman’s paintings transport the viewer to another world, to one that flawlessly fuses fantasy with reality.

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

If one is well versed in art history, the subject matter of Gutman’s Olympia is easier to identify. The center of the composition features the reclining nude of Édouard Manet’s Olympia, reduced here to a series of black contour lines that outline the figure and the setting in which she is situated. The outer boundary of the painting, consisting of ambiguous abstracted forms rendered in varying degrees of cool blues and purples with hints of red and yellow, is inspired by the work of Parisian avant-garde artist, Jean DuBuffet. What may be overlooked on first observation is the silhouette of Vincent van Gogh as seen in his painting Self Portrait in a Straw Hat. The silhouette of van Gogh, which contains Manet’s Olympia, is only noticeable when the viewer disregards its nude inhabitant and the painting’s elaborate peripheries, opting instead to focus on the yellow coloring that fills the area of van Gogh’s portrait. Layering these works together, Gutman offers the viewer a timeline of artistic achievement spanning roughly 150 years, which highlights three pivotal art movements and three innovative artists.

© MG Bryan Head Shot-BEST

Photo of the artist (c) Miranda Gatgewood Photography

Bryan Gutman is a fine artist who lives and works in Patchogue, NY. He received a BFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and a MFA from Brooklyn College in New York. He is the Owner and Co-Founder of Fee-Fi-Faux, Inc., a decorative painting, handmade tile and wallpaper business, alongside his wife Tina Folks. His artwork has been exhibited across Long Island at the Patchogue Arts Gallery, Heckscher Museum, East Ends Arts Council, and Guild Hall. Gutman is an active member of East Ends Arts and Patchogue Arts Council.

Jay Schuck


Photo of Bryan Gutman © Miranda Gatewood Photography

All images courtesy of the artist

Wood, Waves & Words: The Sculpture of John Cino

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JULY 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery is Wood, Waves & Words a solo exhibition highlighting the recent works of sculptor John Cino. Upon invitation from the Patchogue Arts Council’s Board of Trustees, Cino showcases his sculpture in the exhibition space of the Patchogue Arts Council as he introduces his artwork to the community. The exhibition features a dozen sculpted works completed by the artist within the past year, including several pieces completed during a recent artist residency at Stony Brook University. Several sculptures in the exhibition incorporate a variety of sounds and languages, creating three-dimensional structures that stimulate not only the viewer’s sense of sight and space, but also one’s sense of sound as well. The viewer becomes fully immersed within the exhibition.

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John Cino, Wafting: Padouk #1, 2016

For the artist, a carved wooden sculpture recounts the story of a tree’s life through its unique grain patterning. By highlighting the unique grain pattern from each piece of lumber he uses, Cino gives his source material new life. Through his sculpture, the artist also simultaneously recalls memories of his childhood. As a boy, Cino would often spend hours climbing trees and reading books in them. Many works included in the exhibition, such as Wafting: Padouk #1, are slender, freestanding, wave-like sculptures that ripple and flow vertically toward the sky. For this body of work, the artist draws inspiration from the natural flow of the ocean’s waves that ascends and recedes on the many shores of Long Island, an action that often fascinated the artist as a child. Cino renders his sculptures as if each piece is dancing to its own song or is drifting among the ocean’s waves.

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John Cino, Song Wave, 2014

Several pieces in the exhibition incorporate hidden speakers that project different sounds and languages. For his sound pieces, the artist craves into his rectangular slabs of timber, creating rhythmic waves-like gestures that are seen through the voids that are left behind. The carved works are then embedded into bases that conceal the artist’s sound system. One such piece, Song Wave, was created with the aid of a New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Grant that was administered through the Huntington Arts Council. For Song Wave, the sounds that are projected are songs sung by humpback whales. Likewise, the artist includes four sound sculptures from his recent residency at Stony Brook University. Entitled, Dialogue with each individual sculpture taking the subtitle of its respected material, the works are composed of freestanding slabs of wood with two incised lines that runs through each piece. For the current exhibition, the voices projected from each of these sculptures recite random passages from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha and Reverend Dwight Lee Wolter’s “Peace Chant,” which were originally incorporated into Song Wave’s whale song recording.

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John Cino, Dialogue: Maple, 2016

John Cino is the Chair of the Patchogue Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee as well as its Director of Programing. He has been the lead curator of the Patchogue Arts Council since its inception in 2008 and has introduced many artists to the Patchogue community over the years. He received his MFA in Sculpture from CUNY Hunter College and his BFA from Stony Brook University. His artwork has been exhibited extensively throughout the New York area at venues such as the Islip Art Museum, Omni Gallery, and the Vanderbilt Museum. His public sculpture, The Library of Babel, is currently situated outside of the Patchogue-Medford Library.

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John Cino, Dialogue: Maple (detail), 2016

The Patchogue Arts Gallery is a professional art gallery operated by the Patchogue Arts Council, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts. The gallery features five curated exhibitions per year, which reflect current issues and concerns in the contemporary art world, in addition to an annual juried members exhibition.

Wood, Waves & Words: The Sculpture of John Cino is on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery from July 9 to August 21. An artist reception is scheduled for Sunday, July 10, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. The reception is free and open to the public.

Jay Schuck

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Remembering Richard Smith

In April, British artist Richard Smith passed away. Richard had a long, prosperous career with solo exhibitions at the Tate Gallery (1975), the Jewish Museum (1968), and the Whitechapel Gallery (1966), among others. He represented Great Britain in the Venice Biennale (1966, 1970), as well as the Sao Paulo Biennale (1968). His artwork is in the public collection of many renowned fine art institutions including the British Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I first met Richard in 2012 at his Patchogue studio. The Patchogue Arts Gallery had just opened with an exhibition featuring a selection of Richard’s recent paintings and works on paper. I was tasked with helping the artist compile images of his artwork from over the years for a slideshow presentation he would use for an artist talk scheduled at the end of the exhibition. I met Richard in his studio where he had a few sketches and smaller works out on the table with volumes of works wrapped and tucked away in storage.

Richard was personable and friendly as he took the time to discuss with me the details of his life, career, artistic interests and influences. We spent the afternoon huddled around my laptop as he reflected on his career and body of work. The longer we spoke, the more I came to admire him and appreciate his artwork as he would recall the details of his oeuvre, some of which he remembered better than others. We often got sidetracked as a particular painting would remind him of a story involving a close friend, studio visit, or of his inspiration for the piece.

I was fortunate to work with Richard several more times over the years. One such time was in late 2014-early 2015 when John Cino and I were curating the Remembering Things Past exhibition at the Islip Art Museum. Richard happily agreed to be a part of the exhibition and we all met at his studio to review possible works to include. Upon arriving, John and I were greeted by a large, three-piece kite painting that Richard created in the late 1970s. It was my first time seeing one of his kite paintings in person and I was in immediate awe of delicate yet imposing presence and wonderful ascetics. Needless to say we included the work along with a smaller four-piece kite painting and a painting produced in the late 1990s that depicts a silhouette of the artist.

The last time I spoke to Richard was in early March. We discussed the possibility of a retrospective exhibition that would coincide with his 85th birthday and commemorate his life and body of work. Despite being ill, Richard happily agreed to the idea and we scheduled another studio visit. Although he passed before we could work on the project, I am flattered that Richard was interested in working with me one more time. As far as I am considered, when it comes to Richard Smith, the only thing more admirable than his artwork is his character.

Thank you for everything, Richard. Working with you will always be a highlight of my career.

Jay Schuck

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With Richard Smith’s Portrait (1997) at the Islip Art Museum

Journeys in Photography: Carole J. Amodeo and Howard Beckerman

On view at the Artspace Patchogue is Magical Moments: Journeys in Photography a two-person exhibition featuring the artwork of Carole J. Amodeo and Howard Beckerman. Amodeo’s body of work stems from her interest in storefront display windows and often depicts mannequins that model articles of clothing behind glass while capturing the street scenes that are projected off of the reflected surface. Beckerman, on the other hand, is interested in the relationship between light and landscape, capturing Patchogue’s scenic landscape and village-scape at various times through the day. He often edits his photographs digitally with the finished products being exhibited through various filters. In their respective photographs, each artist captures moments of time in their everyday lives through the use of point-and-shoot cameras.

Included in the exhibition are new works from Amodeo’s Reflection Series. Deriving from her series of New York City reflections photography, the artist ventured into Greenport and Port Jefferson to take photographs of various storefront displays. One such work is Chic Chick, which portrays two mannequins wearing sundresses and large, dark sunglasses with a third mannequin hidden in the background. On the right-hand side of the composition, the prominent mannequin in the foreground adorns a slim green clutch bag that features two flamingos with their necks craned into a heart-shaped fashion. Reflecting off the glass window, one finds another storefront situated across the street along with the rear of a parked car in the lower right corner. Strong horizontals cut across the center of the composition as a towering tree, devoid of leafs, occupies the left-hand section of the picture. Indicative of the leafless tree and apparel of the mannequins, one can deduce that the photograph was taking in the early Spring months of the year.

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Carole J. Amodeo, Chic Chick, 2016

Another work by Amodeo, Up on the Rooffeatures a wooden stepladder that is trapped behind glass. Probably used to set up the shop’s display case, a large tag dangles from the ladder’s metal hinge with packaging resting on several of its steps. Reflecting off the glass is a two story, bright red building, which occupies the majority of the composition. Ascetically, the ascending ladder leads the viewer’s eye to top section of the photograph, which depicts a pale white sphere that is cast against a dark blue background. as two fictive birds appear to be flying in the sky.

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Carole J. Amodeo, Up on the Roof, 2016

In his compositions, Beckerman offers the viewers a glimpse into his world, which is filled with a stunning display of color and light. One photograph, Sunrise Over Artspace, consists of a beautiful juxtaposition of warms reds, orange and yellow against a varying degree of blue. The horizon line is low, allowing four-fifths of the picture to be filled with a sky that is caught in the twilight sun. Leafless trees cast their silhouettes on the horizon line as thin clouds stretch on a diagonal from the bottom left to the top right-hand side, across the work’s visual plane. One becomes lost in the photo as one would when experiencing a sunset in person.

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Howard Beckerman, Sunrise Over Artspace, 2016

Another work from Beckerman, amply titled Sunrise in Lavender, depicts a purple-blue sky over the village of Patchogue. The Congregational Church of Patchogue can be seen on the left-hand side of the horizon line with its clock tower standing tall over the village, which has been cast in a deep blue. The sky near the horizon line has been rendered in a vivid violet and is occupied by low hanging clouds that float above village. Beckerman manipulates his photograph, emphasizing the blues and purples of the original picture.

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Howard Beckerman, Sunrise in Lavender, 2016

Carole J. Amodeo began her photography career in 1999. She is a member of Women Sharing Arts, Inc., South Bay Arts Association, the Patchogue Arts Council and East End Arts Council. Her photography draws on the interpretation of light and vibrancy of color within landscapes and cityscapes. Her work has been exhibited throughout Long Island and has been published in The Photographer’s Edge, and the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Magazine.

Howard Beckerman is a Patchogue-based songwriter and collaborator in original musical theatre programs. He is the President of Heartworks International, Inc., a corporation that develops media and publications in the arts, entertainment, and education since 1992. In 2006, he founded the New Musicals Project and co-founded Worldwide Voices, Inc. alongside his wife Linda Beckerman. A non-for-profit organization, Worldwide Voices, manages projects that support the arts and media programs through creative collaboration with multicultural groups and individuals.

Magical Moments: Journeys in Photography, featuring the artwork of Carole J. Amodeo and Howard Beckerman, is on view at Artspace Patchogue from June 11 to June 26. Artspace Patchogue is located at 20 Terry St., Patchogue, NY and is open Thursday and Friday from 2 to 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 PM for the duration of the exhibition.

Jay Schuck

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Patchworks 2016

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JUNE 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery is Patchworks 2016, the annual juried members exhibition of the Patchogue Arts Council. This year, the annual open call exhibit was juried by Neil Watson who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, NY. Patchworks 2016 features 43 local artists who work in a variety of mediums ranging from painting and photography to sculpture and more.

Long Island’s scenic waterscapes are well represented in the works of Howard Beckerman, Krystle DiNicola, and Chris Zec, all of whom are working in the photographic media. Their calm, tranquil compositions have a strong correlation to Beth Giacummo’s glass-blown jellyfish, Big Pinky, along with the other works inspired by nature such as Linda Abadjian’s Clouf Mountains, Linda Beckerman’s Pond Reflections and Alan N. Johnson’s Bonsai I.

The past serves as inspiration for ceramicist Tina Folks and sculptor Dwight Trujillo, whose work recalls votive sculptures and colossal monuments of long extinct civilizations. Likewise, artists also recall memories of their own to serve as muses for their works. One such artist is Kristen Hadjoglou whose setting and narrative is captured in quick brush strokes, which invokes the feeling of something remembered but with hazy details. Alternatively, artists like Bryan Gutman, whose painting is a composite of several overlapping female figures rendered in wallpaper-like designs and colors, is purely imaginative in subject matter and bears no influence from past events or experiences.

Many works in the exhibition offer hidden details that are only brought out upon closer observation. Courtney Young’s stunning depiction of a grilled cheese sandwich appears photographic despite being drawn entirely in pastels. The drawing is so appealing that on first glance the viewer may overlook the fly that is trapped in the gooey cheese that oozes through the toasted bread. The piece offers a strong juxtaposition to Kathryn Ko’s Death by Water. What appears as a classically realist painting of a woodland river scene offers a hidden feature planted by the artist. Washed up on shore is the drowned Syrian boy whose body appeared on the front page of every major newspaper last fall. The imagery instantly brings the viewer out the imaginary world created by the painting back into the real world with its social-political struggles.

Formalists attracted to line, color, and shape will also be satisfied with the exhibition. John Cino’s small sculpture, Wafting, captivates the viewer as he or she studies the elegant curves that dances rhythmically upward, while Lawrence Lee’s dense bronze sculpture offers an interesting relationship between positive and negative spaces. Similarly, the viewer will instantly be drawn to Larry Monat’s linear painting A Not So Simple Truth, which is composed of a variety of different colors and strong intersecting horizontal and vertical lines. Whether one is a formalist or a realist, interested in representational art or abstraction, prefers sculpture to painting or vice versa, the viewer will leave the exhibition with a sense of fulfillment.

Patchworks 2016 features 44 works of art by 43 members of the Patchogue Arts Council. All artists with valid memberships to the Patchogue Arts Council were invited to submit two works of art, free of charge, to the organization’s annual open call exhibition. Neil Watson, Executive Director of the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, served as the juror of the exhibition. Watson has previously held directorial positions at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE, and the Katonah Museum of Art in Westchester, NY. As the Executive Director of the Long Island Museum, he has instituted the LIMart, an artist lead collaborative group that develops programing and other opportunities for contemporary Long Island artists. Patchworks 2016 is on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery through June 26.

The Patchogue Arts Gallery is a professional art gallery operated by the Patchogue Arts Council, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts. The gallery features five curated exhibitions per year, which reflect current issues and concerns in the contemporary art world, in addition to an annual juried members exhibition.

Jay Schuck

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Poison Play

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE MAY 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

On view in the Islip Art Museum is a selection of artwork that examines the toxic relationship between industrial innovations and the environment. The exhibition, Poison Play, was curated by Museum Exhibitions & Curatorial Director/Curator Beth Giacummo and features the artwork of Margaret DeLima, Scott McIntire, John Sabraw, and Anne Seelbach. Through their artwork, each artist explores the detrimental effects of mankind’s carbon footprint on the world as natural resources are exploited for technological advancement and the dumping of bio-hazardous materials forever changes ecosystems.

Margaret DeLima alters the environment of the museum’s smallest gallery with her site-specific installation The Imprinted, which features 500 papier-mâché ducks that are group together in the center of the exhibition space. Each sculpted figure cranes its neck upward as a gesture of imprinting on the viewer, similar to how newborn wildlife impresses on their caregivers as a sign of love and trust. No matter where the viewer stands in the space to observe the installation, he or she will find several hundred ducks that extends its neck towards him or her. Upon viewing the work, one cannot help but feel responsible for the creatures’ wellbeing as their innocently helpless gestures imply connotations of trust. Hanging along the walls, below eye-level, are several pinned photographs that capture the process of how these sculptures are crafted. These pictures of the papier-mâché ducks, some yet to be colored, appear lifeless and stiff as they rest on their sides. These pictures are in stark contrast with the figures in the exhibition space that seem to inspire a sense of life within each figure.

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Margaret DeLima, The Imprinted (2016), Courtesy of the Islip Art Museum

Hanging in the hallways of the Islip Art Museum is a collection of paintings taken from Scott McIntire’s BioArt, Dark Energy and Energy series. Through these works, the artist addresses environmental concerns that often go unseen, rendering energy signatures generated from radio waves, cell phone transmissions, fracking, and global warming. The artist pairs these vibrant fields of energy with vivid depictions of vegetation, wildlife, and industrial power lines, in an effort to bring a sense of familiarity to the viewer as he or she contemplates the negative energy around his or herself.

Scott McIntire, Roadt Trip #3 (2011), Courtesy of the Islip Art Museum

Scott McIntire, Road Trip #1 (2011), Courtesy of the Islip Art Museum

The largest gallery of the museum plays host to an arrangement of John Sabraw’s Chroma paintings. Here, the artist finds a productive alternative to contaminated materials by using them to create pulsating, large-scale works of art. In this series of work, Sabraw’s utilizes powdered iron oxide pigments, and other toxic materials that he has found in abandoned coalmines deserted caves and polluted streams. His abstracted circular paintings resemble blown up microcosms of toxic environments as if they are been observed from underneath a microscope lens. The paintings’ size and illuminating palettes, along with a poster explaining Sabraw’s artistic process and sealed jars of contaminated water and grounded pigments, warrants the viewer to contemplate the ramifications these poisonous materials have on the earth.

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John Sabraw, Chroma S4 Tribute (2016), Courtesy of the Islip Art Museum

The final exhibition space features mixed media works of art taken from Anne Seelbach’s Troubled Waters Series along with the site-specific installation piece Marine World Maze. In this series of work, inspired by a mutated fish discovered by the artist along the shores of Sag Harbor, the artist draws the viewer’s attention to aquatic life and how manmade toxins such as pesticides, herbicide, and sewage runoff, influences natural environments and maritime development. The works exhibited here engage in a dialogue with the viewer, as they address the concerns of Long Island’s polluted water systems, the disposal of chemical and industrial waste, and how it influences the development and wellbeing of innocent oceanic life.

Anne Seelbach Courtesy of Gary Mamay

Anne Seelbach, Sunken Structure (2016), Courtesy of Gary Mamay

Poison Play features artists whose work explores the toxic ramifications technology has on the environment. The exhibition runs in conjunction with the Museum Shop exhibition Lazara, which features artwork by Caitlyn Shea. Both exhibitions were curated by Museum Exhibitions & Curatorial Director/Curator Beth Giacummo and are on view at the Islip Art Museum until June 5, 2016.

Jay Schuck


Image of Anne Seelbach’s work is courtesy of Gary Mamay

All other images courtesy of the Islip Art Museum